Boxing: McEvoy comes good at Irish National Finals

by Jonny Stapleton
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By Jonny Stapleton

There are no comforts, winning an Irish title is just as hard if not harder as securing a World Championship medal says Lee McEvoy.

The Dublin teen announced himself as a potential star of the future when he glided on the World Youth Championship podium via a number of impressive performances in La Nucia last November.

Having dealt with some of the best young talent the world has to offer to secure a prestigious bronze medal, the Avona light welterweight went into the 2023 National under-18 Championships fancied to win it.

He did just that, eventually finishing top of a tough 63.kg field thanks to victory over Michael Sweeney, a cousin of former Irish light heavyweight title challenger of the same name, in Saturday’s decider.

However, he claims having a bronze medal on his mantlepiece had no real bearing on his latest Irish success, indeed McEvoy revealed the domesitc field had as many landmines as any international landscape.

“Winning here is probably harder than winning out at the Worlds,” McEvoy explains after success on an extermely busy day at the home of Irish boxing before stressing this win was the most important of all his victories.

“This title is more important any other title. The next one is always the most important one.”

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While he claims under-18 prospects across the country are as capable of winning the domestic gong as him, he does admit he has benefited experience wise for his World adevnture – and hIs performance in the final proves as much

McEvoy exited the World Youth Championships at the semi final stage against a Georgian with a similar squat big punching style to Sweeneys, a style he has since worked on dealing with.

“That style there is the exact same style that I lost to at the Worlds, so to win like that just shows how much I’ve learnt and come on,” he adds before revealing High Performance  Head Coach Zaur Antia took time to share some advice with him post the win.

“He was just telling me how I should box people like the Georgian, and told me to watch the Cuban [Mario] Kindelán, he was a southpaw like myself. I’ve to work on covering up tight against smaller lads coming in and not leaning back swinging out high. I’ve an awful habit of throwing my chin up, so I’ve to work on that.”

McEvoy was just one of a eleven Dubs to pick Irish titles at youth level on a busy day on the South Circular Road.

European Youth Champion Bobbi Flood made it three Irish Youth titles and eight in total in style.

The very highly thought of talent registered another stoppage, this time of Luke Ducan to retain the 71kg title.

Malo Davis of Monkstown registered one of the more eye catching wins of the morning, beating European Junior gold medal winner and viral internet sensation Tagh O’Donnell to win his first title since his school boy days. Rebbeca Kavanagh moved up in weight but made it back to back Irish title wins with an unamious points win over Siofra Kenny. Big punching International medal winner Gabrielle Mongan added to her collection of Irish titles with a win over Jennifer Sheehy, Ryan Murphy battled his way to victory over Shane Lawlor to win another domestic medal, giving his grandfather the perfect birthday present in the process. Troy Donnelly became Cherry Orchard’s first Irish champion at the age grade thanks to a points win over Dylan McShane.

It was 1-1 in the Avona versus Dublin Dockland’s derbies Martin McDonagh winning at 54kg for Avona and Sean Tyndall leveling things up  with a 54kg title win.

Luke Mulhall and Ava Henry both recieved walkovers.

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